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Grilling Guidelines

Grilling is a flavorful way to prepare meals.  Grill meat, vegetables, fruits, and even pizza.  There are multitudes of great recipes.  Add flavor variety to your foods by using marinades, spice and herb rubs, sauces, flavored butter, salsa, or chutney.

Add Creativity

  • Jazz up a burger with jalapenos, pineapple, and barbecue sauce.
  • Drizzle balsamic vinegar on a steak and sprinkle with feta or blue cheese.
  • Rub a steak with equal parts salt, brown sugar, and coffee (freshly ground, dry) for a quick flavor variation.
  • Vegetables are fabulous grilled whole or chopped; add fresh herbs, seasoned salt, or flavored oils to enhance the rich grilled flavor.
  • Grill marinated chicken and top with Muenster cheese and roasted tomatoes.
  • Grill pineapple spears, nectarine halves, or apple slices for a sweet treat.

To ensure food safety:

At the grocery store, select and place perishable foods in your grocery cart last.  Keep the raw meat away from fresh produce and ready-to-eat foods to prevent the possibility of cross-contamination.  You do not want the raw meat juices on your produce.  When bagging the food as you check out at the grocery store, be certain the meat, poultry, and seafood are in separate bags.  The cooking temperatures are different and you do not want to risk a food borne illness.  Refrigerate perishable foods as quickly as possible to avoid having food sit in the temperature danger zone:  41-135 oF (degrees Fahrenheit).

Thaw meat in the refrigerator:  completely defrost the meat to ensure even cooking on the grill.

Keep cold foods cold until ready to grill by storing in the refrigerator or in a cooler on ice. Your goal is to keep the temperature of raw meat, seafood, and poultry below 41 oF.

Separate raw and cooked foods:  store raw meat below cooked foods in the refrigerator.  If storing/transporting foods in a cooler, have separate coolers for raw meat, raw fruits and vegetables and ready to eat salads, and ice for serving with beverages.

Begin all food preparation with clean hands.  Wash your hands often to ensure a safe meal.  Always wash hands after handling raw meat.

Use clean utensils, clean and lightly oil the grill, and use a clean plate to hold the grilled foods (not the same one used for the raw meat).  Be sure outdoor tables and grill handles are clean for each use.

Use a food thermometer to determine when the food has reached a safe internal temperature – color is not necessarily a good ‘doneness indicator’.  Check the temperature of the meat in the thickest part away from bones.  Safety tip: occasionally check your thermometer for accuracy.

145 oF Fish and shellfish. Steaks, chops, & roasts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, rabbit, and wild game (antelope, venison, elk,
160 oF Ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal
165 oF All poultry (whole and ground): chicken, turkey, duck, goose, quail, Cornish game hens, and grouse

Additional information:

Veggie and Meat Skewers

Contact Our Expert!


Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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